the missions lady

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Archive for the tag “Missions”

A Complete Scandal!

I’m blessed to have friends that work all over the world and it’s always fun to read their newsletters and hear about what God is doing in their lives and the lives of those they live among!  This morning I got this update from a friend’s recent prayer letter (I’ve changed the name of the church and people for their protection).  I asked if I could share it because I think it is thought provoking.

There is a small contingent at London Church who are not supportive of us going to Afghanistan. One lady in particular, Mattie, has refused to greet me at church. Very obvious, just looks at the floor when we pass. Last Sunday Katie and I spoke for 10 minutes during the service about our future work with AMI. After the service we went to the fellowship hall and invited whoever wanted to attend to come and ask further questions if they had any. We were prepared for the group who didn’t want us to go, or who at least question whether we should go. The main reason they are not supportive is because Afghanistan is a “hostile” country. Mattie was there and she led the questioning by asking us how successful we were before in Afghanistan. Katie asked her what she meant by success and Mattie said that it was quite obvious that it’s measured by how many converts to Christ we had made. Katie was very gracious with her and after one or two more “attacking” type questions, Mattie declared to all of us that it was “utterly scandalous” that The London Church would send a family with two young children to such a hostile and violent country like Afghanistan. She picked up her purse and stomped out of the hardwood floored room, refusing to acknowledge our thank you to her for coming to the question and answer session.

Then this past Tuesday, something pretty cool happened. I was due to speak for a few minutes in the morning at the London college we have been attending during the week ( we have something called Sacred Pause every morning between classes). I got to thinking about what Mattie said, and I saw it in a different light. I told the group about what happened with Mattie on Sunday, and then I went on to say that she was absolutely correct. I reminded the group of the scandal of Jesus being born and placed in a feeding trough, the way he was treated in his hometown when the people there took him to a cliff intending to throw him over it, the way he was treated throughout his ministry by the religious establishment, and finally, his arrest and night-time trial, a complete farce: all these things were a complete scandal. And so we follow this in the “scandal of mission”: something that makes no sense from a worldly point of view, but in an eternal view, something entirely different. So in the end, I considered Mattie ‘s comments and behavior a gift.

We’re back in London getting packed up to leave this Friday. Our passports are at the Afghan embassy in London in process for visas. Their website says applicants should apply from their home country; fine for Katie, and the kids as UK citizens, but a rule-bender for me. Part of me wants to be denied, part of me doesn’t. If they deny me, I’ll have to apply for my visa in Istanbul, where we’ll have to lengthen our 4-hour layover a day or two. Part of me wants to get back to Kabul and join our friends, part of me doesn’t. What the heck, cold feet is normal for anyone in our position. Thanks for praying for us!

After reading this I was forced to ask myself if I’m living a life that is seeking Comfort and Safety or one that is seeking Scandal and Justice?

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American Dream?

I had a moment this morning of comparing my life to the Joneses…wishing I had a house like theirs and a car that didn’t need CPR every other week…then as I was driving my mind just kept going until I heard a song on the radio that caused me to stop complaining and comparing and start worshiping.  In that time of worship I was reminded that I didn’t want the American Dream I want God’s Kingdom to come His will to be done!  I was reminded that most families around the world live in spaces smaller than my family does and that many of them have less complaining and more joy in their lives!

Awhile back I came across this video and today I was reminded of it.  The American Dream has been hijacked and i don’t want to chase after it!  Do you?

The Right Now Video  (This website has the video in the middle of it’s page)

Do you pursue the me me me mindset?

Do you Hate Injustice?

Do you find ways to bring Hope to Desperate situations?

Do you see your work as Worship?

Do you have a Kingdom focus?

Apply Now for an Internship!

I was almost a professional intern for a few years after college.  I did several internships and then had a job of leading summer intern teams for four years.  Internships are a wonderful way to learn and grow.  It’s a great way to learn about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses.  It’s a great way to learn about the world and about working on a team.  Also it’s a great way to figure out what you want or don’t want to do in the future!  And sometimes it’s a step towards finding the organization you could work with in the future.

I think it’s important to pick the right internship!  Here’s some thoughts on how to pick:

  • Consider your future goals
    • You want to do an internship that will give you opportunities that lead you towards your future goals.  For example if you want to work with kids then make sure you apply for internships where you will get to work with kids…or micro finance or whatever it is that you are interested in.
    • If you want to work with a specific group of people (i.e. Muslims or Buddhists or in a city or a village setting…) then look for opportunities to get experience with those people.
  • Get good training
    • Some internship programs do a great job at preparing and training interns before and during their experience overseas.  I think it’s important to have personal, professional and spiritual development as part of your internship experience.
  • Look into several organizations
    • Before you choose specific internship programs to apply for I think it’s good to look into several different kinds.  Organizations have personalities per say…and it’s good to find a good fit for your personality.  Do research to find one that lines up with your own priorities and beliefs etc.  Also some programs have only summer internships others have semester long etc.  Consider what works best for your situation.
  • Talk to lots of people
    • Proverbs 15:22 says: Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
    • Talk to others that have done internships, talk to your mentors, parents, and teachers, pastors …whomever you can to help you discern the best internship for you.
  • Set goals for your experience
    • Before you start your internship decide what you want to learn etc. and write it down.  Reflect on it throughout your internship and especially at the end.  This will help you to get the most of your experience and process it so you can use all that you learn!

 

To get you started in your search…here are some links to organizations that offer internship programs:

www.gomi2.org

http://web.teamexpansion.org/#/get-involved

http://iempathize.org/engage/internships/

http://www.pioneers.org/Go/Venture.aspx

http://www.servantpartners.org/index.php?page=internships-2

http://cmfi.org/serve/howcaniserve

www.musana.org (will be taking applications soon for summer 2013)

http://thetravelingteam.org/summer-project/details

What’s Our Purpose?

I grew up in a Christian home.  A lot of my childhood memories are of things at church or with people from church etc.  I loved going to Sunday School and Church Camp etc.  I learned early on that Jesus loves me and that I can trust him with my life.  When I was about 17 I committed my life to Christian Service, wanting to be used by God in some way.  It was after four years of Bible College when I was working at a church that God opened my eyes in a whole new way.  I started to realize that it wasn’t enough to realize that Jesus loves me, but rather I needed to realize more about what God’s Desires were.  God wasn’t happy with just little ol’ me saying or singing “I love you…I’m all yours”.   He wants to be known among all nations and worshiped by all people!

It’s funny what it took for God to get me to realize that I had been living life and reading the Bible and loving people with blinders on.  It took free food (I was a recent college grad and free food was a big draw) and it took a cute boy (hey, God works in mysterious ways).  He used that free food and a blind date with a cute missionary boy to start to open my eyes.  Then the blinders that I had been living with started to be pulled back when I took the ‘Perspectives on the World Christian Movement’ course.  It was exciting and a little painful to start to see the world, God, others, myself and the Bible in a new way.  I started to see that the Bible is one big story of God desiring to redeem his people.  And I began to learn that my life is not my own, I needed to surrender my agenda and plans for my life over to God and to let him use me however he wanted to be a part of Declaring His Glory Among All Nations.

Psalms 96:3 says:   “Declare his glory among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.”

This verse became kind of a motto for me.  I told God that I would do anything and go anywhere for him.

One of the first books that got me thinking about my life’s purpose is Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper.  He is a deep guy and I am a slow learner…so I had to read and re-read many pages of the book and still could barely soak in the depths of the things he was saying.  Here’s one of the main points of the book.

“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the Church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.” -Piper

I often still reflect this idea and ponder God’s purposes and therefore my purpose.

In closing ponder this question that Piper poses:  “How should you feel about the global purpose of Jesus Christ to be glorified among all the nations?” –Piper

BTW If you haven’t read Let the Nations Be Glad I suggest you do.

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